Google today announced new tools and services for publishing and monetizing items in the Chrome Web Store. The company says it wants to make both processes as easy as possible for developers so they can focus on creation rather than managing overhead.
First of all, Google has made it easier to manage content thanks to an update to the Chrome Web Store API; it now lets developers programmatically create, update, and publish items. For those that already have an automated build and deployment process, the API can be added into their publishing flow.
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Next, Google has added new monetization methods. While hosted apps already supported all four types (free trial, paid up-front, subscription, and in-app payments), now package apps, extensions, and themes have received more options:
The Managed In-App Payments now supports Chrome packaged apps and extensions. Themes were excluded for obvious reasons.
The tool also now lets developers create and manage all of their in-app products directly in the developer dashboard, instead of having to embed or dynamically generate and serve a payment token for each sale. As you can see above, developers can enable or disable products, provide localized descriptions, and set prices for different regions, while the Chrome Web Store takes care of licensing.
The Free Trial feature has also been expanded to packaged apps and extensions. As you might expect, it allows a developer to specify that an item can be used for a limited time before it must be purchased, allowing users to try paid items before deciding whether to buy them.
Overall, extensions have gained the most options, so if you’ve been developing add-ons for Chrome, you may want to consider those projects as a new revenue stream. This is especially noteworthy given the upcoming ban for extensions on Windows not in the Chrome Web Store.
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